Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Instant fruit cocktail, pandemic-style

We stocked up on some canned fruit in case we couldn't get fresh fruit.  Unfortunately, I may like pineapple, but pineapple doesn't like me--it's too acidic for a person with acid reflux.  And I also forgot how sweet even peaches packed in unsweetened fruit juice are--I might as well be eating candy.  So I combined a chunk or two of canned pineapple with a few slices of canned peaches, and added some golden raisins, some black raisins, and a date to tone down both the acidity and the sweetness.  And voila:  Homemade fruit cocktail, on the spot.  It's not exactly gourmet, but it'll do.  :)


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Good songs for bad times

Here are a few tunes that might help you feel better.

In the humor department:

~See and hear here.  ["Don’t know who wrote this or who is singing it but it’s excellent!!"]

~ "A Spoonful of Clorox"--A Randy Rainbow Song Parody--DO NOT SHOW THIS TO YOUNG CHILDREN!!!

In the heartfelt department:

~Rabbi Josh Warshawsky sings his "Six Feet Apart


Monday, April 27, 2020

Trump is another Jim Jones

Why people stick with Trump and Fox News

"Why are Trump supporters so devoted? The simple answer is that they are members of a death cult. Call it the #TrumpDeathCult. Beyond that simple answer, there’s this: When your identity rests on Trump and his party being right, to admit that they are wrong—or worse, that they don't even give a rat's ass about you and yours—requires rethinking everything you are. I guess for some people, dying is easier."

Yes, folks, some people are actually drinking disinfectants because our president said that these might be cures for COVID-19.  These so-called cures are even more likely than COVID to kill people.

I'm old enough to have seen this before--over 40 years ago, the cult created by Jim Jones ended in mass suicide.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Free Zoom tutorials

See here:


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stereophonic sound, academic division :)

In one room, our son is tutoring physics via Zoom.

In another room, my husband is tutoring accounting via Zoom.  Unfortunately, something is malfunctioning--every time he plugs in his headphones, the student can't hear him.  So I get the honor of hearing both sides of his tutoring session.

And, to boot, it's thundering outside.

It's getting a bit noisy around here.



Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Overwhelmed and underfunded :(

Closing our synagogue was strange enough.

What happened shortly before and since then has been most unexpected.

It seems as if every musician on earth is posting not only music, but even entire concerts, online.

As the French would say, it's an "embarras de richesses."  But it's also embarrassing, because we can't even afford to pay for multiple music downloads, much less these wonderful performances, and all of these fine folks still have to pay their rent, even though they can no longer give concerts with live audiences, teach music students in person, lead services and/or chant Torah at closed synagogues, etc.

What are a retired person and her husband, who's retiring at the end of this so-called semester (such as it is) to do?  *Everyone* needs help, including quite possibly us in the future.  Should we support musicians, soup kitchens and food pantries, broke college students who have lost their dormitory housing and/or their jobs, Federations that support Jewish Community Centers and Ys that have lost a huge chunk of their income and still have buildings to maintain, synagogues that have also lost income from simchas (happy occasions such as weddings) that can no longer take place in person, educational and/or cultural institutions (Jewish and/or general) that are currently providing hours of free programming, etc., online, even, heaven help us, Jewish free burial societies that are now burying Coronavirus victims . . .  The list is endless.  The funds are not.  :(

As my oldest friend once said, "At some point, you become your own tzedakah (charity)."  I'm not sure we're there yet, but we probably will be.  :(  In the meantime, who's on first?


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sakanat Nefashot vs. Kashrut l'Pesach

This is certainly not the way that I would have wanted to learn a new Hebrew word:  Sakanah = danger.

Sakanat nefashot:  Danger to human lives (rough translation).

Sakanat pikuach nefesh:  Danger to the saving of a life (rough translation).

Our son has been absolutely adamant--he insists that, since we're both over 70, we avoid shopping even locally, much less renting a car and driving out to a Jewish neighborhood to shop for kosher for Passover food, and rely entirely on what we already have in the apartment or can have delivered using his Amazon Prime account.

Good luck getting kosher for Passover food on Amazon.  :(

We sold all of our chametz online through the agency of the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel (the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue) in Manhattan, and stashed whatever chametz was left in a plastic bag in a separate section of the freezer, since we're literally afraid to throw anything out.

But we have literally almost no food in our home that's labelled kasher l'Pesach.

We had or were able to get a five-pound box of matzah; a one-pound box of gluten-free oat matzah for yours truly ('cause I have to be able to say motzi over *something,* however vile it tastes); four bottles of kosher grape juice; seven cans of macaroons; some Pesach crackers, strawberry preserves, and canned tuna left in our lobby by a kind couple from our congregation; and enough kosher meat, delivered by two kind members of a different local synagogue along with a ready-made Seder plate, to stuff our freezer and keep us going for about a month.

That's all, folks.

It was really strange to clean and kasher our kitchen and entire apartment, then turn around and put all the chametz things right back in their usual places, but we had no choice--with me now retired and my husband retiring at the end of this semester, we didn't know whether we could afford to replace all our Pesach dishes next year after using them for whatever food we have this Pesach.

We have only two rules:
~ We will neither buy nor eat anything that's identifiably chametz;
~ We will neither buy nor eat any snack or "auxiliary" foods that are not labelled kosher for Passover, because we don't need these foods to preserve our health--we can live for all of Pesach without chocolate squares, and we can use matzah instead of rice cakes or buckwheat flatbreads to make our sandwiches.

I confess to being envious of those more-fortunate souls who posted on Facebook listing their four-course Seder meals and waxing eloquent about seeing their grandmother's Pesach dishes again.

I miss our old family-heirloom cut-glass salt cellars and the tiny silver spoons that my sister bought for them a few years ago, the Kos Eliyahu (Elijah's Cup) that was a wedding present from the choir in which we used to sing in our former synagogue, and the gorgeous matzah cover that was handmade by our oldest friend.

Never mind "Next Year in Jerusalem"--we'll settle for the ability to *safely* get a six-hour Zipcar rental and go shopping in Jewish neighborhoods and clean out the kosher supermarkets (and our bank account), so that we can use our Pesach things again and have a *real* Pesach.

All of that said, I was quite sincere when I recited the Shechayanu--I am very grateful that my husband, our son, and I have been kept alive and sustained and were able to reach this season.

Moadim l'Simchah!


Tuesday, April 07, 2020

This is as close to Manhattan as we're likely to get

. . . for probably at least another month.  :(

Stay safe and be well!

Pesach Kasher v'Sameach--have a kosher and happy Passover (or as close to one as you can get).


<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>